What’s the Potential for a Syngenta-ChemChina Fallout?


Farmers, policymakers and government representatives voice concerns, ranging from GMOs to seed availability to national security concerns, about the potential takeover of Syngenta by a Chinese-state-owned chemical company.

As of now, no one knows if the deal will be approved or not, but some are advocating for the Committee on Foreign Investment  in the U.S. (CFIU) — an interdepartmental committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury that includes representatives of 16 U.S. government agencies such as State, Commerce, Defense and Homeland Security — to also include representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture. The committee is tasked with reviewing acquisitions of U.S. assets by foreign investors for potential national security risks.

“CFIUS will review whether the deal threatens U.S. food security and will it put Chinese-owned property, like Syngenta’s U.S. chemical plants, too close to U.S. military bases,” writes Nicholas Staropoli, associate director of the Genetic Literacy Project and director of the Epigenetics Literacy Project. “The board has a recent history of blocking deals on these grounds.

“In 2012, it stopped a Chinese company from buying a wind farm in Oregon on the grounds that the facility was too close to a training site for unmanned drones. It also blocked China’s Northwest Non Ferrous International Investment from acquiring Firstgold Corp., which had property near Fallon Naval Air Station in Nevada in 2009.”

Still Syngenta maintains that this is a beneficial deal for growers and shareholders. First announced Feb. 3, Michel Demaré, company chairman, says the deal is in the best interests of shareholders and all other stakeholders in Syngenta, “including our employees, our customers and our communities.”

In an article posted on the Genetic Literacy Project website, Staropolis provides an overview of the current situation and the perspective of all parties involved. Get the full analysis at https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/04/28/gmos-seed-availability-national-security-concerns-threaten-syngenta-chemchina-deal/.

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